10 Questions with Dan Harary, author of My Paranormal Life

dan harary q&a

10 Questions with Dan Harary, author of My Paranormal Life

Dan, My Paranormal Life, really? What’s going on here?

I know, I know, it sounds really wacky, right? But after sitting down with myself for 18 months jotting down a list of all of the truly odd, bizarre, and often inexplicable experiences I’ve had since a very young age, and especially after my long-dead grandfather visited me decades after he passed away, I simply came to the realization that sometimes paranormal and supernatural events really CAN happen to people in real life. There are a million reality-based TV shows these days about ghost hunters and paranormal researchers, so it certainly isn’t just me. But I spent a great deal of time carefully and methodically recounting, in the best detail I can recollect, each and every other-worldly experience I’ve had. When I compiled them all together, this book simply gave birth to itself.

Your first story in the new book tells the tale of you, at age 5, having your life saved by a Gargoyle. Really, Dan?

In 1961 when I was 5, I used to climb trees and fences with my two little girlfriends, Kathy and Lizzie, who lived across the street. One day, they wanted to climb high up inside the wooden lattice skeleton that held up a three-story billboard sign promoting the drug store that was located around the corner from my childhood home. We climbed high up, then my hands slipped, and I fell. I vividly recall falling through the air, face up, and seeing the looks of horror in the faces of my two little friends. Then, some time later, I awoke in a strange house about a block from my parents’ house, laying on a couch. No one was home. I looked around, called out, “Hello?” but no one was there. When I stood to leave, I saw a supernatural character standing at the front door. It was about seven-feet tall, the color of white chocolate, and looked like it once had wings that had been chopped off. This thing turned its head, snorted at me, then left through the front door. My daughter believes it was a Gargoyle. This is among my very earliest memories – my mother thinks I “dreamed” this story, but I know it really happened.

In your new book you talk about Ghosts and Poltergeists…what happened?

I was very close to my father, and when he died, it was a terrible loss for me and my two brothers. He passed away in April 2017. Within two weeks of his death, he came to “visit me” a number of times. These visits included him turning on and off my bedroom lamp in the middle of the night; playing with my little toy drum set, also in the middle of the night; showing me a “home movie” of a UFO sighting he and I had had together in 1970 that I had completely forgotten about; appearing as a much younger, healthier man in at least five dreams – in one I said, “Dad? You’re Dead!” to which he replied, in the dream, “Yes, I know, but I really wish I wasn’t!”; and informing me in a very loud, strong voice, that his second-wife had CHANGED HIS WILL! It wasn’t until months later that my two brothers and I discovered that his second wife had in fact changed his will and his life insurance policies during the two years preceding his death when he was suffering from overwhelming Alzheimer’s disease. Regarding the poltergeist, in 2003, I lived with a new girlfriend briefly in an old Beverly Hills apartment. While we lived there, doors would slam shut, glasses of water would be thrown to the ground, and we would see wisps of smoke and hear voices calling “Joe?” When this woman and my two children and I sat around a Ouija Board to communicate with this “thing” in our home, the pointer on the board spelled out JOSEPH. When I asked where he was from, he wrote SYRIA. That was the birthplace of my late, beloved Grandpa Joe.

You’ve experienced three UFO sightings, tell us!

Yes, the first was with my dad in March 1970, when a giant, silver V-shaped craft hovered above his car, silently. That was in my hometown near Asbury Park, New Jersey. The second was 28 years later, with my son, on his 8th birthday, when we were looking through a new telescope I’d bought him as a present. That took place in the high desert of Lancaster, California, near Edwards Air Force Base. The third time was at the famed ECETI Ranch in Washington State, at the base of Mt. Adams. The site has been a famed UFO hotspot for hundreds of years. To learn more about these sightings, you gotta read the book!

As recounted in your book, you apparently have had the ability to “manifest” people and new clients for your PR business. What are some examples?

In the summer of 1980, I was working at Columbia Pictures in their PR department on Fifth Avenue in New York City. I had been commuting from the New Jersey Shore, and I was miserable – four hours a day on a smelly bus. During my lunch breaks, I would sit on the same rock every single day in Central Park, and fantasize about sending Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner a personal letter, asking him for advice on how to meet sexy women in NYC. Exactly four years later, I was working for Hefner at Playboy in Beverly Hills! Also, in 2009, I was watching a TV show called “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” and there I saw an incredibly beautiful blonde woman vomiting into a trash can during her drug withdrawal. As I was watching this, a voice literally spoke into my right ear and said, “She needs your help!” I reached out to the woman, former supermodel Amber Smith, and became her manager, her publicist, and her best friend. Other examples, I was on a date at my favorite Hollywood restaurant in November 2018 called Musso and Franks. After I walked my date to her car, I walked to mine, and saw their giant billboard sign that read SERVING HOLLYWOOD SINCE 1919! Since the restaurant’s 100th anniversary in 2019 was then only two months away, I had a lightbulb go off over my head. I contacted the owner, met with him and his wife, and became their publicist. I’ve been Musso’s publicist ever since, and it’s been the best client I’ve ever had in my 40-plus PR career in Hollywood.

You claim in this new book that you are the unfortunate victim of a “past life curse,” when it came to women. This was a theme you previously covered in your second book Carrots, also from Bear Manor. What is your thinking behind this impossible to prove claim?

There are more stories about my claim of a past life curse than I could possibly answer here. But since I was 4 years old, things always seemed to go “wrong” for me when it came to chasing after little girls, and then later young women and women. I’ve had lots of girlfriends, and was married for 11 years, but things for me in the area of the opposite sex have always gone wrong. I’ve been to various psychics who have told me there is a dark curse hanging over me from a previous life, when I may have been a serial killer. Of course, there is simply no way to prove this one way or the other, but if you read My Paranormal Life and also Carrots, I’m pretty sure you will become as convinced as I am that this curse “thing” is real.

What makes you believe you had a “doppelganger” during your time living in Boston when you were a student at Boston University?

During my senior year attending Boston University, 1977 – 78, on many occasions, very attractive women – complete and utter strangers, would walk right up to me, stare deeply into my face and say, “Jeffrey, is that you?” This happened so often I became very jealous. Whoever “Jeffrey” was, he was certainly doing better with the ladies than I ever did!

The stories behind how your met your first real girlfriend and how you met your wife are uncannily similar. What are those stories and what do you attribute those coincidences to?

I met my very first real girlfriend on New Year’s Eve, in 1978, at a very popular nightclub in New Jersey. Her name was Kim. She had just turned 20. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and worked as a Junior Nurse. She came to visit me several times while I was attending my senior year at Boston University, but after a short time, she flaked out on me and I never saw or heard from her again. Exactly four years later to the hour, I met ANOTHER girl named Kim at a popular nightclub on New Year’s Eve, but this time in Los Angeles. She had just turned 20. She had blonde hair, blue eyes, and worked as a Junior Nurse. As soon as she told me her name was “Kim,” I knew I was going to marry her. And I did. To read about how those 11 years together worked out for us both, you’ll have to read the book.

You revisited your childhood home 60 years after you’d lived there. Upon entering you say your immediately were “transported back in time” and experienced “spiritual chills.” Please explain?

At the tail end of 2018, I took my daughter, Anjuli, then 28, to visit my mom back in New Jersey. One day, while the three of us were driving around my old home town, we happened to pass the very first house I ever lived in as a child. It was in Neptune, New Jersey, one town west of the fabled Asbury Park. Right when I pulled my car up to the front of the house, I had a feeling that I should go inside. I’d not been inside that house since 1962! My mom didn’t want to go in, so Anjuli and I met the new owners and entered. As soon as I walked into their living room, I didn’t see what was REALLY THERE – I saw that living room AS IT USED TO BE BACK IN 1962! I “saw” my parents old furniture and wall decorations – I felt like I was living inside an old 8mm home movie that my dad used to shoot there. Then, as I approached the dining room, a powerful, incredibly cold burst of frigid air shot down the back of my jacket and shirt against my neck! It was freezing cold! It was such an overwhelming experience, I instantly fell to my knees, sobbing. “Dad, is that you?” I cried, sensing that perhaps my late father was there, inside that room with me, at the same time. I later looked up the term “spiritual chills” and learned that they are a sign from the angels of a message that needs to be conveyed. I’m quite convinced that my dad was reaching out to tell me that he was OK up in heaven.

Your first book, Flirting With Fame, presented many hilarious stories of you meeting and working with famous celebrities for 50 years. Do you have any newer stories that did not appear in that book?

Flirting With Fame came out in March 2022, and since then, as I continue my adventures as a working Hollywood Publicist, I have had several newer close encounters of the celebrity kind. Most notably, I met Titanic star Billy Zane at a horror convention and, by coincidence, he and I have a mutual friend; I reconnected with ET star Dee Wallace, a long-lost friend of mine from the 1980’s who I hadn’t seen in quite a long time; I happened to be invited to a birthday dinner party for a friend and wound up sitting directly across from Dave Foley, a very popular, comedic actor known for his work on NewsRadio and VEEP; and most recently I have become quite friendly with movie actor Thomas Jane, perhaps best known for his role as The Punisher.

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